Legends of Cthulhu: Cthulhu The Great Old One (12-inch Figure) by Warpo Toys, Part 2

Whassup, Cthulhu Cultists? As promised, I’m back to wrap up my look at Warpo’s amazing 12-inch Great Old One. Last time we checked out the packaging and now I’m ready to open this baby up.


The box is just taped on the top flap, so a quick flick of my blood-soaked ceremonial dagger gets it open and inside the figure comes in three parts and is held in a framework of folded cardboard, just like the playsets of old.


In addition to Cthulhu’s body and wings, you get a single sheet of instructions and an awesome little product booklet showing the 3 3/4″ figures in the line. The booklet is bound in human skin and inked in human blood (not really) and shows the core figures from the initial assortment, but not the Kickstarter Exclusive variants. I’ll confess, I was also hoping for some kind of “Coming Soon” image or tease in the book, but no such luck. Attaching The Great Old One’s wings is easy and I can’t stress enough how happy I am they designed these things with turn-locking tabs so they can be easily removed and the whole shebang can be returned to the box for storage. It’s so damn frustrating when you get a toy that is designed to be put together and not taken apart again, and happily that’s not the case here.


Assembly is easy, although it does require some lit candles, recitations of ancient incarnations, and a virgin sacrifice. Once together, this guy is huge. Yeah, he’s 12-inch’s tall, but it’s the wing span and bulbous head that really make him feel even bigger than your average 12-inch tall figure. And if you were expecting just a blown up version of the smaller Spawn of Cthulhu figure, think again. This guy is totally new. The plastic quality feels great and there’s just the right amount of detail in the sculpt to walk that fine line between making an impressive looking figure and paying homage to vintage toys. There’s hardly any space on this guy’s body that doesn’t have some detail work. The mess of tentacles he has for a mouth looks particularly great and I love the disgusting warts that are studded all over his body.



As good as the sculpt is, I think it’s the paint that impresses me the most on this figure. The plastic itself is just the right shade of green and it’s highlighted with yellow in various areas. The gray paint used for the claws and insides of the wings is beautifully applied and the effect of the red beady eyes against the black is absolutely killer. There’s no slop or spray, just a gorgeous high-quality paint job that compliments the figure in every way.


Cthulhu features the standard 5-points of vintage action figure articulation, with points in the shoulders, hips, and neck. You also get additional swivels in the wrists. Technically, there is articulation in the wings, as they can be rotated a bit before detaching, but only a bit. Playing around with this guy is very reminiscent of playing around with my LJN Gremlin from 1984 or even Kenner’s old Star Wars Rancor monster, only the joints feel a lot tighter and more solid on Cthulhu here, and the quality of the plastic offers a lot more heft.





I’m pretty sure that this big guy was originally billed at about $99, at least that’s the amount that stuck in my head and that I was prepared to shell out if and when he ever became a reality. Warpo was ultimately able to deliver this amazing toy for $79.99, so not only did it ship for less than I expected, but nothing was lost in the transition to production. From package to figure, it’s a work of art, and the same gorgeous figure that was shown off from the get go is the one that I’m clutching in my two hands now. He’s the ultimate expression in a line that was perfectly planned and executed from the beginning. Ah, but the Legends of Cthulhu doesn’t end here. There’s a Glow-In-The-Dark version of this big guy shipping now, which will probably wind up on my shelf as well. Also, The Necronomicon Collector Set is due out soon, which is a whole box of goodies, including some cardboard standees to make a playset for the 3 3/4″ figures. Expect to see a review of that set coming soon!

Legends of Cthulhu: Cthulhu The Great Old One (12-inch Figure) by Warpo Toys, Part 1

Folks, I’m dog-tired. I just got off a bone-crushing eleven-day work week and now I have to reboot my sleep so I can pull a ten-hour overnight tomorrow. I was going to bag updates for today and tomorrow, but then I got me a big box of Cthulhu goodness from Warpo Toys. Yes, that’s right, this is the big one. Their Grand Opus. The 12-inch Cthulhu figure! And so, I decided to fight the exhaustion and push through with a compromise. Today I’m going to take a quick look at the packaging for this beast of a figure and tomorrow, when I’m more rested, I’ll open it up and check out the toy itself. And that seems only fair, because just like Warpo’s 3 3/4″ Legends of Cthulhu figures, the packaging on this one is so damn good, it deserves its own feature. But first… surely you’ve heard of Warpo Toys, right?

If not, then please do take a moment to read my gushing review of the figures from their Legends of Cthulhu Kickstarter. These folks at Warpo not only know how to make great figures, but they know how to present them to us wrapped in 100% genuine retro goodness. I know what you’re saying, “But Dave, everybody is doing retro figures these days.” Piffle! These are the real deal, lovingly designed and crafted by people who were there. People who sat amidst a pile of crumpled wrapping paper on an 80’s Christmas morning and knew what it was like to get the real toys. While their successful Kickstarter did reach some of the stretch goals, it didn’t quite make it to THE stretch goal, which was this 12-inch tall version of Cthulhu, The Great Old One himself. Soon after, however, they promised they would still somehow get that figure into the hands of us collectors and now they’ve made good on their word. I couldn’t be happier! Check it out…


This box is a work of art and that’s not just me spraying hyperbole. If you were a kid of the 80’s and you got your hands on a big toy then you will instantly recognize this box. It’s made of the same chunky cardboard stock with a full color illustration pasted to the front and line drawings on the other panels. Holding this giant box in hand brought me back to countless Christmas mornings when I would hold aloft a new Kenner Star Wars playset or the huge Kraken figure from Mattel’s old Clash of the Titans line. This box isn’t so much a box, but a replica of 80’s style toy packaging. And don’t even get me started about the gorgeous artwork on the front. The sumptuous painting matches the style of single carded figures perfectly. You even get the little picture-in-picture insert of the toy itself showing how big it is compared to the regular 3 3/4″ Cthulhu.



The left and right side panels each feature the same line drawings of the original four figure wave and invites you to Collect Them All! Wait, no. It isn’t an invitation. It’s a demand! The Elder God demands that you buy these action figures! (No, really, go buy them. They’re back in stock at a lot of e-tailers and well worth the money. I’m thinking of picking up a second set to keep carded.) I also love the wrap around border encompassing the header, “The Exciting Universe of H.P. Lovecraft.” The style here just nails it beautifully.


Lastly, the back panel continues more of the line art style that was common for these big boxed toys in the 80’s. This is amazing stuff! Look at that innocent kid with the bowl cut deciding the fate of The Professor, nay of THE ENTIRE EARTH! I’d like to think that he carries Cthulhu around all day with him like a My Buddy doll. For pete-sakes if this figure was around when I was a kid, that’s what I’d be doing. We’d be inseparable. A huge part of me, as tired as I am, wants to bust this big boy out right now, but I know I’ll enjoy it more if I do it tomorrow and that’s when I’ll be back to open him up and unleash him upon my collection. But it’s worthwhile to note just how happy I am with this thing and I haven’t even gotten past the box yet. It’s that good! And that’s why I have to extend my sincerest thanks to the team at Warpo for getting this thing out there for collectors like me to buy.

Legends of Cthulhu by Warpo Toys, Part 2

As many fools before me have learned, communing with The Elder Gods was a trap. Their immense power immediately overtook me and I became possessed by their will to do eeeeeeevil. As if in a trance, I found myself a good, sharp blade, testing it against my soft flesh. Ouch… crap, that really hurt! Um, I mean… Excellent! The implement would serve me well in performing the unspeakable deed. Without so much as a twinge of regret or sorrow, I set about the unholy business at hand. I inflicted the slices with ghastly precision and soon my act of desecration was complete. Yeah, I opened the toys… so let’s check them out and we’ll start with the hero of the piece… The Professor!


Let’s face it, a big part of Lovecraft’s appeal rests firmly in his strange, nightmare creatures, and between his writing and the art designs it has inspired, there’s enough material to produce waves of action figures. As a result, some might say, “with only four figures, why waste a slot on a regular old human?” Some might say that, but not me! You can’t have Lovecraft without the hapless protagonist who wanders into those dark corners best left unexplored, and you can’t have a great selection of figures without someone to fight the baddies. He may be terribly outnumbered here, but the gang at Warpo so wisely gave us an amalgamation of all of Lovecraft’s unhappy wanderers with The Professor.


The Prof is a turn-of-the-century scholar-adventurer with jacket, tie, high boots, hat, and dashing mustache. “I mustache you not to summon Cthulhu, my good sirs!” His accessories include a black revolver and a green Cthulhu idol. He may be retro, but there’s still some great detail in this mold, including the stitching and rumples of his jacket and a stiletto dagger strapped to his right boot! The paintwork is also quite good, with the only flaw on my figure being a bit of black spray on the left side of his face. I choose to believe that’s a powder burn sustained from his many battles with evil’s minions! Standard five-points of articulation apply and he can comfortably hold his revolver in his right hand and carry the Cthulhu idol in the crook of his left elbow. Very nice!


Next, we have one of The Deep Ones, minion of Dagon and ghastly dweller from the shores of Innsmouth. These things creeped me out as a kid because they were said to snatch people and uh… copulate with them to create unspeakable halfbreeds. Yikes! Everything about this figure came out splendidly. The design, including the fins, bloated neck, and hideous fish face is instantly iconic to me and the sculpt helps to carry the day. Despite the retro appearance, there’s plenty of great work to be seen here, like the muscles in the arms, the terrible claws, and the texture to the skin, and I love those blank soul-less eyes. The paintwork here is quite exceptional. The blueish tone used for the skin is great, but it’s the shading around the eyes and the light striping on the back that really drives it home.


Of course, you again get the standard five-points of articulation, although the way The Deep One’s head is shaped the neck cut basically just allows him tilting his head from side to side in a sort of adorable way. There’s a bit of pre-posing to the mold, which has one foot trailing behind the other and this stance nicely accentuates the odd structure of his legs and all without compromising on his ability to stand on his own. Deep One comes with a spear, that’s cast in green plastic, which he can comfortably hold in his right hand. At one point Warpo was offering a troop-building pack of these guys as an Add On to the kickstarter and right now I’m stabbing myself with the Sacred Dagger of Bokrug for not buying more Deep Ones when I had the chance. Yeah, money was too tight at the time, but that doesn’t help make me any less heartbroken that I don’t have a little army of these magnificent figures on my desk right now.


For the third figure (I’m not going in any particular order) we look to The Spawn of Cthulhu! This nasty piece of business is no doubt intended to be the star of the line and it shows. As one of Cthulhu’s lesser minions in humanoid form, this spawn is a bulky green monstrosity with a mass of tentacles for a mouth, the bulbous head of a squid, and a pair of black eyes with piercing red pupils. This minion of The Great One comes equipped with wings and a vestigial tail, all of which is sculpted in slightly softer plastic and pegged onto his back. If you prefer your Cthulhu Spawn wingless, you can just pluck them off, but why would you want to do that? I love the texture on this figure’s skin, including the bumpy warts all over his body and the veins running across his head. You get some really nice paintwork on this guy too, particularly where the green desolves into the yellow of his chest.


It goes without saying that the usual five-points of articulation apply and with the way The Spawn of Cthulhu’s arms are sculpted it makes them perfect for reaching out to grab his hapless victim. This fellow includes one accessory, which is an ancient looking leather bound book with sculpted tentacles running across it. Could it be The Necronomicon itself? I’d sure like to think so!


The last of the regular carded figures in this collection is The Cultist, and boy is this guy cool! He features sculpted robes with some somber decorations, including a heavy sculpted black chain holding on his robes. The figure features a hooded head with an eerie zombie-like face and blank white staring eyes. Easily my favorite thing about this figure is the way the sculpted robes remind me of the original Kenner Obi-Wan Kenobi figure, especially in the way that the legs are still given independent articulation. And speaking of Kenner Obi-Wan, The Cultist features the same style vinyl cape, which really hits on all of my nostalgia buttons. It’s such an obvious and wonderful callback and yet blended seemlessly into the design of the character. I don’t want to take anything away from any of the great figures in this line, but The Cultist is the single shining example of how this line is retro done right.


The Cultist also steals the show by having the most accessories. He comes with a staff and a dagger, both molded in green plastic, that instantly had me thinking of my Kelek figure from LJN’s old AD&D line. The dagger features a wavy kris-style blade and the staff is a gnarled piece with a Cthulhu themed head on it. You also get a Cthulhu mask, which fits perfectly into the hood and over the figure’s face. As with The Deep One, The Cultist was available as a multi-pack Add On and once again I hate myself for not finding the money to get more of these at the time, because they look absolutely great gathered together.



Having looked at the four main figures, all that’s left is to take a quick look at the two special stretch goal variants. The High Priest is a sensible repaint of The Cultist. He sports an extra-sinister set of black robes with the chain now painted silver. He comes with the same accessories as The Cultist only now cast in a brilliant green translucent plastic. This guy is going to look amazing leading my horde of Cultists. Oooooh, riiiiiight. I didn’t get any extra Cultists. I really hate myself right now.


And finally, we have The Spawn of Cthulhu recast in that same lovely green translucent plastic to create the very ominous Conjured Cthulhu. I’m not usually one of those collectors that goes crazy over clear plastic figures, but I have to admit that the mold works beautifully in this form and even comes with a spectral version of his book.



I know, for six little figures, I’ve droned on quite a bit, but it was necessary for me to truly express how excited I was about this Kickstarter and how impressed I am with how the folks at Warpo followed through with the finished product. The figures that I now hold in my hands totally live up to what I was expecting, and keep in mind that I pledged $120, so my expectations were fairly high. Indeed, the fact that I now wish I had thrown some more money into multiples of The Cultist and Deep Ones should say it all. This was a finely honed project from start to finish and I am so happy to have helped support it. It’s worth noting that these were available to purchase at Big Bad Toy Store as a set for $79.99 but that pre-order has already sold out, so I’m very happy to see that not only was the Kickstarter a roaring success, but the figures have performed well at retail too.



I’m still kind of hoping that these figures will somehow, someday get a wider release where I can pick up some more, but either way I’ll be anxiously looking forward to and putting aside some money for Warpo’s next project. Keep it coming!

Legends of Cthulhu by Warpo Toys, Part 1

The Summer of 2014 was a big one for toy-related kickstarters. I backed three of them, and while two are facing delays in production and distribution (these things happen), the folks at Warpo were able to get their offerings out in a pretty timely manner. The Legends of Cthulhu is a line of retro-style action figures based on the enduring writings of H.P. Lovecraft. I started reading Lovecraft about the time I was in Junior High. I couldn’t tell you the first story I read, but I’m positive it was one of the Dream Cycle stories and I was instantly hooked by his fleeting descriptions of other worldly dimensions, alien landscapes, forbidden cities, and ancient and bizarre gods. To this day I keep a couple of well-worn paperback copies of his short stories in my nightstand for when I’m up for a little easy reading before bedtime. But why have there never been any proper Lovecraftian action figures? Where were the likes of Kenner, Mattel or LJN? One might as well try to gleen the true shape of Ycnàgnnisssz than understand why the toy companies of the 80’s had no such offerings. The closest we probably ever came were The Inhumanoids.  Well, nearly 30 years later I can rejoice for they have arrived as if plucked straight out of the early 80’s and delivered to my doorstep through the shades of time itself. Today I’m going to look at the packaging and some of the other backer incentives and tomorrow I’m going to… <gulp> open these up and check out the figures. Probably. I mean, I really shouldn’t. They look so nice in the packages. But I really want to…


The wave includes four carded figures and what beautiful cards they are! You get Spawn of Cthulhu, the Professor, a Deep One, and a Cultist. It’s a well rounded slice of the important players with the Professor serving as a fine stand in for Lovecraft himself. As early 80’s packaging mock-ups, these cards are totally credible and absolutely delightful. Everything from the chosen font for the series title to the foil Fan Club stickers looks the part. The figures are each secured in a simple coffin-style bubble with the name of the figure printed on the card above it. The artwork consists of some twisted crag on which a handful of Cultists are no doubt paying homage to the Elder Gods and summoning up a Spawn or Deep One to do their bidding. While original, the art looks as if it could have been pulled straight from the cover of a 70’s or 80’s printing of one of Lovecraft’s collections. Fabulous!


The back of each card features photos of each of the figures (Collect all Four!) and more totally bitchin artwork, this time showing all four characters in all their action-packed glory. Will the Professor survive? You decide!!! I love it!!! The only nitpick I have for the packaging is the fact that it isn’t collector friendly. I get that anything other than a sealed blister pack would not have properly conveyed the retro feel for these figures and I totally respect that, but it also means not being able to have your cake and eat it too. I am the last person to be considered a “mint-on-card” collector, but these figures look so great in the packaging I assured myself that I was, under no circumstances, going to open them. But I might. I mean, maybe… “oooooopen theeeeeem!” Wait, who the hell said that?


The other benefit of being a supporter of the kickstarter was getting in on the stretch goal figures. Warpo hit two of those and that meant production of the Conjured Cthulhu and Cultist High Priest. Both of these are variants of two of the main figures, but cool nonetheless. The stretch goal figures didn’t get the full carded treatment, and that’s understandable. Instead they got baggied with a snazzy printed, folded, and stapled card. The card topper matches the deco from the fully carded figures and even retains the hole to let it hang on a peg. The next stretch goal was a large scale figure of Cthulhu himself. We didn’t quite get there, but I’m still holding out hope that the large Cthulhu figure may one day see the light.


Lastly, at my level of support I received a Legends of Cthulhu Coloring & Activity book. The fact that this even exists makes me a happy person, let alone that I now have it on my shelf. The full color cover features a reprint of the artwork from the cardback. But I’m not going to color it. Nope. Not going to do it. But… I may buy some Crayons just to have on hand. Never know when you’re going to need Crayons! Not for coloring this book, though. No sir. Warpo did offer a plethora of other Legends of Cthulhu merchandise for higher bracket supporters and believe you me if funds weren’t stretched out between two other kickstarters, I would have gone all in.


When it comes to presentation, Warpo absolutely nailed it with this series. Let’s face it, we’ve seen a lot of retro-style figures hitting the market last year, mostly coming from the endless parade of Funko’s ReAction licenses. This new niche market has become bloated and tiresome practically overnight. Not to mention a lot of those releases have been hit and miss. What Warpo has done here is so cool that it totally transcends all that other retro nonsense. They took a popular fictional license that has been begging for a proper action figure treatment since… well, since action figures were born, and they flawlessly melded it with a genuine degree of retro charm both in the presentation and in the actual toys. I can easily point to this set and proclaim that Warpo has succeeded at what ReAction is only trying to do. Indeed, it’s impossible for me to look at these carded figures and not see a labor of love. And that’s why I really don’t have to open these figures to enjoy them. They come alive in my hand while still in the package. But… they look so cool. And toys are made to be opened and played with. Maybe I should open them? I shall have to seek council on this. I will journey to the Crimson Desert to Irem, The City of Pillars. I shall light a votive candle in the subterranean shrines of Nug and Yeb. I will pose my query to Shub-Niggurath herself and stand vigil until the skies burn and the seas boil and I finally receive my sacred answer. I’ll be back tomorrow.